What does LDR stand for?

Long Distance Relationship. For more information on LDR Terminology, visit the LDR Community Terminology Page.

What is a Long Distance Relationship?

“Long Distance Relationship” (LDR) is a term that generally refers to any type of relationship where two people are separated by considerable distance. They can be separated for various reasons ranging from Military duty & College, to health & medical reasons. The relationships can be both romantic and non-romantic. Romantic LDRs are the most commonly referenced type of LDR.

Isn’t an LDR the same as an Online Relationship?

No. An Online Relationship is a type of Long Distance Relationship in which two people have met online and are continuing their relationship though the same medium. Not all Long Distance Relationships start online, so Long Distance and Online Relationships are not always one and the same.

How common are long distance relationships?

LDRs are becoming increasingly common. It’s estimated that about 14 million people in the United States considered themselves to be in an LDR in 2013. Around 4 ½ million of these couples are in a non-marital relationship. Additionally, 75% of all engaged couples have been in an LDR at some point during their relationship and 10% of all marriages in the United States actually started out as an LDR.


Why would anyone choose to be in a Romantic LDR?

Most couples find themselves in a Long Distance Relationship Unexpectedly. Rather than giving up and breaking all ties, they choose to stay within the relationship while waiting out the temporary distance.

In very rare cases, there are some couples that choose to continue being apart from one another permanently (Living Together Apart Couples) but in the majority of LDRs, couples expect their period of long distance to be temporary and to end at some point in the near or distant future.

What types of LDRs are there?

There are many types of long distance relationships. They can be conveniently grouped into any one of the following categories:

  1. Familial Relationships
  2. Friendships
  3. Romantic Relationships

Of course, there are even more types of long distance relationships that can fit within those categories. For more information on Specific types of LDRs, please read our article “The Various Types of LD Relationships.”